Why do customers do business with your company? In many cases, it’s because your customers feel some sort of connection with your brand. Whether it’s because your backstory pulls at their heartstrings, they have come to trust your brand, or something else altogether, this connection is paramount for attracting new customers and retaining your current customer base.
A brand story is key to communicating your values and building emotional ties. Below, learn how to craft a brand story that’s uniquely your own.
A brand story tells the tale of how your company came to be. While it certainly can include facts about how your business came about and major milestones over the years, the main goal of a brand story is to help build emotional connections between your company and your customers. To that end, a brand story encompasses both your origin story and how that origin story influences your company to this day.
Our brains are quite literally wired to love stories. No wonder storytelling is a key part of marketing! Telling your brand story is a natural way to engage with customers and encourage them to reach out and learn more. Here are four major ways a brand story can make that happen for your company.
Chances are, you have competitors that offer a similar product or service to yours. Why should your business be a potential customer’s first choice? A lot of this comes down to your “why” and making the emotional appeal to your customers that your business is their best option — for both practical and mission-driven reasons.
By using the space your brand story provides, you can delve deeper into what inspired you to launch a company, develop an innovative product, or start a service that’s laser-focused on the customer experience.
What do you stand for? How do you set out to make a difference? What are the principles that you and your leadership hold dear, and how do they influence your everyday operations? A brand story not only states your principles, but also demonstrates how they’re baked into your very foundation.
Humans are biologically wired to respond emotionally to stories. When listening to a story, researchers have found that several parts of our brains are engaged, including the sensory cortex responsible for processing senses like sound and the motor cortex that controls voluntary movements. Stories have the power to transport our whole brains — and our bodies — into new realms that motivate us to take action.
These scientific findings demonstrate the true power of your brand story. The same tactics can be applied to the corporate realm, utilizing the power of storytelling to encourage potential customers to take action, whether that’s signing up for your email list or closing on a sale.
Your ideal customer is narrowly defined by demographics, geography, personal interests, deeply held values, and other factors that influence their buying decisions. As you develop your target audience, you’ll keep these values in mind: What does your ideal customer love to do? How much money do they make? What types of companies do they want to support?
Your brand story is a key way to communicate to that audience. Using the right language and pulling the most effective anecdotes, your brand story can signal to your ideal customers that you’re the best choice for them.
Let’s take an eco-friendly paper products brand, for example. Their ideal audience is likely a customer who cares deeply about the environment and wants to buy products from other companies that align with those values. A brand story that combines the company’s passion for the earth, as well as facts and figures about how their product meets that mission, can help attract the customers searching for that solution with the right provider.
Every brand’s story is as unique as its founder or founders. How will yours stand out from the crowd? To create an authentic brand story that resonates with your target audience, try these four tips.
Much of your brand story involves answering questions your customers naturally have. Most customers are researching why your product or solution is best for their needs. It’s important, therefore, to not just include those reasons, but make them central to your brand story. Perhaps the founder of your company came up with an idea for a travel bag after hand-carrying a duffel for miles, or designed a spill-proof kids’ cup after watching an infant make a mess out of their drink. No matter how your company came to be, tap into that narrative as the cornerstone of your brand story.
Brand voice is the way your company expresses itself through marketing materials, social media, on its website, and other forms of communication. Your brand voice is essential to telling your brand story, whether you’re aiming for an inspirational journey, a funny retelling of events, or a casual, laid-back conversation about how your company rose to the top.
As you’re writing your brand story, think about the words you’re using and how they shape the impression you want to leave on your audience. Do you want to be seen as an authoritative source of information, a fun best friend with a great recommendation, or a caring parent who only wants the best for their child? Each personality takes on its own persona through word choice.
Authenticity is key to a brand story. Readers connect strongly to a narrative that rings true, heartfelt, and passionate. Those types of tales are best spun from the heart, a position that lets your personality come through clearly. And because you’re likely going to refer back to your brand story as your business grows, keep in mind that you may frequently need to retell parts of it. Consistency in this regard is very important, so sticking with your honest and firsthand experience is best to ensure that your brand story stays intact for years to come.
Sure, stories are often full of details that bring each part of the plot to life. However, in a brand story, these types of details can detract from the main narrative. So as you put together your brand story, keep it simple and only apply details as they serve to uplift the tale you want to tell. For example, you may want to include details about how you discovered the perfect formula for your natural cleaning product line, but not the step-by-step process you took to create the logo — unless that’s part of your origin story, of course.
Examples spark inspiration. The two brand story examples below show the importance of a brand story in conveying a company’s core values and purpose along with its differentiating features and benefits.
The frozen treat giant is just as well-known for its ice cream as it is for its advocacy. Founded by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield in the 1970s, the brand made its mission for supporting social causes a priority early on, establishing the Ben & Jerry's Foundation in 1985 to donate 7.5% of proceeds to community projects.
The story of Ben & Jerry’s growth is told on the company’s About Us page, an important part of any company’s website where a brand story can typically be found. Through its brand story, the company made the strategic decision to feature both impressive business milestones alongside major decisions the company made to commit to improving the planet. Set up as a timeline, readers walk away with a complete picture of how and why the company was founded, the path the founders took to get there, and a clear picture of their steadfast commitment to improving communities with their products.
The eyewear brand set out to shake up a whole industry, and its brand story makes sure to explain that. Starting out with its mission, this brand story then discusses how that mission translates to their everyday operations, successfully anchoring their reason for being to their product line.
Importantly, Warby Parker keeps it simple. They clearly state what they’re trying to solve and explain how they solve it. Their brand voice is woven throughout, using a mix of compassion and humor to reinforce the importance of improving access to quality eyewear for the billions of people around the world who rely on glasses.
Your brand story begins with an authentic tale of how your company came to be. Tapping into your reason for creating your product or building your brand, your brand story helps current and future customers feel connected to your company and choose you over your competitors. And once that story is written, it’s time to share it with the world. The best way to disseminate your brand story is through an attractive, well-designed, and easy-to-create website.
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